Girls fall sports teams host scavenger hunts for team bonding

Emily Hobson | Staff Writer

On Saturday Oct. 6, two separate scavenger hunts will be hosted by two different fall sports teams: the girl’s volleyball team and the girl’s soccer team. But the goal of the activity is the same for both teams: to help athletes bond outside of school before sectionals.

“My favorite part is driving to each challenge with the moms and the other players in my group. It’s so much fun, and a chance to really bond with all the girls,” junior volleyball player Ashley Eck said. “We do this to help our team chemistry right before sectionals because it brings us all closer together.”

The teams each do different challenges in order to win the game. Last year, the girl’s volleyball team had to go to a putt putt place and try to hit a hole-in-one. They also went to a park, put on football pads and helmets and tried to throw a football to their teammates with all the gear on. The volleyball hunt is a tradition that has been carried on for many years called the ‘Amazing Race.’

“We have a big dinner, and then we start the scavenger hunt. We get a clue, and then we have a parent drive from the last place we were at and go to the next place,” senior volleyball player Graci Gasper said. “After we do all of the challenges, we go back to one of our teammates houses and solve a puzzle to finish the race. Whoever finishes first wins a prize, and then after the race, we have dessert at someone’s house, then we have a team sleepover.”

The prize that the winner receives is different every year, so each year it is a surprise.

The girl’s soccer team is also having their annual scavenger hunt tomorrow, which is structured much the same way as the volleyball team’s.

“The week leading up to the scavenger hunt is filled of secret buddies, pajama pants, crazy hair and very ugly skirts. For the scavenger hunt, everyone splits up into different cars, and we have a long list of funny and embarrassing things we have to complete in public in a certain amount of time,” senior soccer player Gracyn Montfort said.

Although the two teams will be competing separately, the girls will all learn the importance of bonding with their teammates, whether it be through putt putt challenges or crazy hair day.


Boys soccer aims to win next two games and become outright MIC champions

Lucas Kroll | Staff Writer

The boys soccer team faces two MIC schools this week, Pike on Tuesday and Lawrence North on Thursday, but there are more than just two wins on the line. With two victories this week, the team will secure the conference title.

“These next two games are crucial for our success in the MIC and will clinch first place, winning [the conference] for the first time in at least four years,” senior Jake Youngstafel said. “Although we struggled early in the season we have found success and plan on continuing it not only in these last two MIC games but for the rest of the season.”

The team has only lost one conference game, a 3-2 setback to Lawrence Central, on Aug. 21. This loss put Lawrence Central in first place in the MIC. However, after LC recorded two ties and CG ran off five straight wins, the Trojans retook first place. Now with two conference games remaining, two victories would give the Trojans the MIC championship. The players are fine tuning their strategy heading into the two games.

“It is important that we play as a team and win the midfield. We need everyone to be clicked in and ready to go,” senior midfielder Luke Boha said. “If we are able to do this. We will be successful in both games.”

Pike is led by a quick offense and plays a direct style soccer, attempting to go from their defense to offense quickly bypassing the midfield. While Lawrence North plays a less direct style and is led by senior Aaron Coats who has four goals and one assist in ten games this season.

“We can beat Pike if we just play slow and play to our ability,” senior defender Andrew Sauder said. “And we can beat Lawrence North by just playing the way we have always played, controlling the ball.”

Going into the Sectional tournament as MIC champs would boost the Trojan confidence.

“These two games will be extremely difficult for us as the pressure will be on us to impose our style and play our game,” senior forward Owen Assenmacher said. “But I am confident in our team to pull through and win the MIC.”


Soccer team prepares for Saturday’s home opener, sets goals for season

Jordan Boyd | Yearbook Co-Editor

Pictures contributed by Davy Boha


Coming off a first-round sectional loss to Perry Meridian last October, the boys soccer team has spent the summer conditioning and preparing for the upcoming season. In order to advance further in the state tournament, the team knows they not only will have to contend with a Perry Meridian team that returns several starters but also fierce competition within the MIC.

The team played Fishers in a scrimmage on Wednesday night and saw their hard work beginning to pay off. “From the scrimmage last night, I see the conditioning already paying dividends and allowing us to outlast our opponents,” four year varsity player Luke Boha ‘19 said. “This will be extremely beneficial for us later on in the season.”

Conditioning does not stop for the soccer team as soon as the season starts, though.

“We will continue to condition and practice hard,” Jake Youngstafel ‘19 said. “You will be able to tell against our competition because when the game progresses, their intensity will fall off as ours will stay.”IMG_2753

Not only did the team spend their summer intensifying their routines and strengths, but they have also been preparing to play on the program’s new turf field.

“The turf will work in our favor this season,” Jackson Neal ‘19 said. “The game plays a lot cleaner and faster on turf which is when we play our best.”

This new playing surface was made possible after the school board allocated leftover funds from the Walnut Grove Elementary School to the soccer program, which the team hopes will contribute to a successful season.

“The turf field will play right into our hands this year,” Youngstafel said. “Our team is extremely technical and the turf will allow us to move the ball extremely fast. This will help us counter our opponents without having any fluke passes like we did because of the field last year.”

The field, the intense practices and the early tournament loss last season have driven the team to set high goals for the year.

“Some team goals we have this year are winning MIC. We have not had an outright win for a long time, we have either lost or ended in a tie,” Youngstafel said. “The next goal we have is to bring another state championship to the soccer program. We have a strong lineup this year and have a better shot at another ring than we have had in the past three years.”

Since the state tournament does not begin until the end of October, fans can cheer for the Trojans at a number of games before then.

“I encourage fans to come to all of the games, but specifically Perry Meridian, North Central, and senior night against Southport,” Neal said.IMG_4492

The team will play against Perry Meridian next Thursday night at home as they look to avenge their knockout from sectionals last season, and before then, the Trojans will play Roncalli tomorrow morning in their home and season opener.

“Fans should expect a strong performance from our team this Saturday and throughout the season. We should be in every game we play and bring home some dubs for the program,” Youngstafel said. “Expect some goal celebrations as we like to play with swagger and no mercy.”

The last time the team played Roncalli was on August 26th, 2017, when the Trojans defeated the Rebels 1-0. Fans can show their support for the boys soccer team as they play on their new turf field on Saturday morning. JV will play at 10:00 AM and Varsity will follow.


Jackson Neal: Behind the Goal

Jordan Boyd | Sports Editor

Junior and starting varsity soccer player Jackson Neal has a passion for far more than kicking balls at the school’s soccer complex on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. The early college student enjoys playing guitar, a self-taught hobby, in his free time.

  “I just thought it would be a pretty cool hobby,” Jackson Neal said. “It is not something that everybody does.”IMG_0409

 Though guitar playing is not something that a lot of soccer-playing high schoolers find joy in doing, Neal and his best friend, Cam Line ‘19, bond through playing guitar.

  “Not a lot of guys have playing guitar in common with their friends, so when Cam and I hang out, we just like to play sometimes and relax,” Neal said.

  Neal currently plays guitar as a stress reliever or a break from doing homework throughout the week. Having an extra hobby to do on the side is something to look forward to when he is caught up in daily life..

  “When I am having a lot of stress with school and soccer and just need a minute to myself to think, I like to play guitar,” Neal said.

  Playing guitar is not just a current hobby; not only did Neal start playing at only eight years old he also plans on continuing to play guitar for the rest of his life.

  “I don’t think I’ll ever stop doing it,” Neal said. “I don’t exactly have much free time, but when I get the chance I’ll play. Even when soccer stops I’ll still have my guitar.”

  Neal finds that he has bettered himself through having both an athletic side and an artistic side; soccer and guitar have led him to be more balanced in regular life and in the activities themselves.

  “I learned to have a balance of focus and emotion by playing soccer and guitar,” Neal said. “Soccer helps me focus while guitar helps me do the opposite; it helps me relieve stress.”

   Neal was not professionally taught how to play guitar and learned the craft by listening to guitar playing in songs and researching on the internet.

  “I never went to guitar lessons or anything like that,” Neal said about his self-teaching measures. “I just have a good ear I guess. I always listened to a lot of music and could just hear the tunes and notes in my head.”

  It was not until Neal did more research and garnered some knowledge about guitar that he chose to do it more often.

   IMG_0404 “Once I really got interested, I started doing some research on the internet and I just got better from there,” Neal said.

  Neal appreciates having learned how to play the guitar as he reaps its benefits day in and day out. The guitarist sees the hobby’s impacts on his life and mind set every day.

  “I always notice how much more relaxed I am when I am able to play some guitar to help get me through a tough week,” Neal said. “Sports and school work can be really stressful but playing guitar helps give me an occasional escape.”

Boys soccer starts season with wins


Jordan Boyd | Sports Editor 

 With eight returning seniors and no freshmen on the varsity boys soccer team this season, the team’s experience has led to early-season success. Their first two matches against Bloomington North High School and Perry Meridian High School resulted in two wins: 2-0 vs. Bloomington N. and 1-0 vs. Perry Meridian.

  “Our preseason training is already paying off this season,” Jackson Neal ‘19 said. “We have been able to do big things in the past and I think this is one of the best teams to come through this program so far.”

  This season’s team is already confirming expectations of success.  Dawson Raymond ‘18 and Colin Parry ‘20 scored the goals in the team’s opening win over Bloomington North with Parry scoring the team’s only goal in the 1-0 victory over Perry yesterday.

  These two early season wins are raising excitement among the players already.

  “I am really excited for this season,” Jacob Cooley ‘18 said. “I firmly believe that we have the most talented group of upperclassmen in the state of Indiana and if we put in the effort on and off the field, we can be unstoppable.”

  The team is looking forward to the rest of the season and have faith in one another to do big things this year.

  “With most of the seniors playing together–and even some of the juniors– since we were eight years old, we have all grown up together and bonded our whole lives,” Cooley said. “This season is kind of our last ride together and we all want to finish it off with a state championship.”

  With their sights set on a state championship at the end of the season, the boys soccer team is ready for what it will take to get there.

 The varsity soccer team will be hosting the annual Trojan Classic tournament this Saturday, taking on Elkhart Memorial, coached by former boys soccer coach Todd Sheely, at 11 a.m.